BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Estimating the probability of negative events

    Harris, A.J.L. and Corner, A. and Hahn, Ulrike (2009) Estimating the probability of negative events. Cognition 110 (1), pp. 51-64. ISSN 0010-0277.

    Full text not available from this repository.

    Abstract

    How well we are attuned to the statistics of our environment is a fundamental question in understanding human behaviour. It seems particularly important to be able to provide accurate assessments of the probability with which negative events occur so as to guide rational choice of preventative actions. One question that arises here is whether or not our probability estimates for negative events are systematically biased by their severity. In a minimal experimental context involving an unambiguous, objective representation of probability, we found that participants judged a controllable event as more likely to occur when its utility was extremely negative than when it was more neutral. A decision-theoretic explanation based on loss function asymmetries is advanced which supports the claim that probability estimates are not intrinsically biased by utilities.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Probability, Utility, Severity, Asymmetric loss functions, Control
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2013 09:11
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 13:39
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/6630

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    0Downloads
    106Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item